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Refugees in Our Own Land

"For four days, I haven't been able to write. The headaches, the nausea, the pain in my eyes finally caught up with me ... I couldn't write, just as I couldn't keep any food down, or escape the persistent nightmares whenever I tried to sleep. I've been dreaming of friends getting injured, of blood, and of people seeking shelter from falling bombs. Even when we sleep, there is no escape." Muna HamzehThis remarkable book is a gripping eyewitness account of what it is like to live in Palestine as a refugee in your own homeland. Born in Jerusalem, Muna Hamzeh is a journalist who has been writing about Palestinian affairs since 1985. She first worked as a journalist in Washington DC, but moved back to Palestine in 1989 to cover the first Palestine Intifada P the war of stones. She then settled in Dheisheh, near Bethlehem, one of 59 Palestinian refugee camps that are considered the oldest refugee camps in the world.The first part of the book consists of a diary which Hamzeh wrote between October 4th and December 4th 2000, telling the story of the second Intifada. Facing the tanks and armed guards of one of the best equipped armies in the world, the Palestinians have nothing. The anguish and terror that Muna and her friends face on daily basis is tangible. Who will be the next to die? Whose house will be the next to burn down? The second part of the book provides the background to these current events. It describes what life has been like for Dheisheh's refugees since 1990, and explains why the second Intifada was a natural development of the Oslo peace accord. "Refugees in Our Own Land" is a rare insider's look into the hearts and minds of Palestinian refugees.
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Table of Contents

Introduction PART ONE 1. Ordinary Days in Dheisheh (2000) PART TWO 2. Farewell Washington (1988) 3. Welcome to Dheisheh (1990) 4. Urging on the Scuds (1991) 5. Diary of a Blockade (1993) 6. Fatima (1994) 7. Dheisheh will Never Fall Again (1995) 8. Where Is Peace? (1996) 9. When Time Stood Still (1996) 10. The French connection (1997) 11. The Glory of the Intifada (1997) 12. Where Do We Belong? (1997) 13. Remembering Our Dead (1997) 14. Where did Santa Go? (1998) 15. Male Vs. Female honor (1998) 16. Celebrating Independence (1998) 17. From Dheisheh to Jerusalem (1998) 18. Making it in a Man's World (1998) 19. Diving with a Splash (1998) 20. Life's four Seasons (1998) 21. Checkpoint Jerusalem (1999) 22. The Pope in Our Midst (2000)

About the Author

Muna Hamzeh is a Palestinian-American journalist whose work on the Palestinian question has appeared in The Economist, Ha'aretz, The Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Report, and Middle East International, among others. Hamzeh was born in Jerusalem to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, both of whom were half Palestinian, half Lebanese. Her experience of life in a Palestinian refugee camp is based on firsthand knowledge--she lived in the Dheisheh camp in Bethlehem for 10 years after first travelling there to report on the Palestinian Intifada of 1990. Hamzeh is an accomplished speaker and has been interviewed by the media throughout the world, including the Channel 4 documentary Talking to the Enemy.


"'Always compelling, [Hamzeh's writing] movingly conveys these tragedies, and how, in a tight-knit society on a small patch of land, they are all inter-connected.' The Financial Times 'Muna Hamzeh has given us a unique insight into women's everyday life during the Al Aqsa Intifada - anger, sorrow, frustration fly off every page this book is a slice of living history which will now never be forgotten.' Victoria Brittain"

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